Traffic to Facebook stores and pages is now higher than traffic to classic websites across the board. According to the findings of Webtrend’s recently published report “The Effect of Social Networks and the Mobile Web on Website Traffic and the Inevitable Rise of Facebook Commerce,” Facebook stores are already enjoying sales conversion rates equal to those achieved by e-commerce websites. This phenomenon is also not limited just to e-commerce sites, but is also the norm for companies that are not directly selling anything to the vast majority of people who visit their website, such as Procter and Gamble, Boeing and others.
In light of these findings, it has become quite evident that it is, nowadays, much more prudent to create and maintain a Facebook page than a website for many smaller service and product providers, formal or informal special interest groups, non-profit organizations, and so on. In terms of putting yourself, your service, your product or your idea out there for the world to see, there is no faster or more efficient way than by launching a Facebook Page or Store. On Facebook, you are practically guaranteed traffic from the get-go in the form of your own followers, who will also help you spread the word about your new page across their own social web. And launching a Yahoo! or LinkedIn group can also be very effective.
If the findings of the Webtrends report, as well as those from the other reports recently discussed on this blog, are an accurate foretelling of the future then, by the end of 2011, an F-store and mobile checkout capabilities will be a must for anyone selling things online. And for individuals, groups and smaller organizations, a Facebook Page might just be the most important part of their online presence.
So to answer the question: No, the classic website is not yet obsolete, but it is no longer the most important element of the online presence of individuals, groups or companies. In some cases, such as small special interest groups, it is not even essential anymore. However, it is still a good place for offering more information about yourself, your cause, or your business, so it is perhaps not yet time to forsake it completely.
Staff Blogger, the Technology Gurus, Inc.